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SWENG 505 Lecture 6: HR Management. Dr. Phil Laplante, PE. Today’s topics. The human element Human metrics Dealing with difficult people Typical management approaches Self-mastery Summary advice References. The human element. Often neglected aspect of project management.

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SWENG 505 Lecture 6: HR Management

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today s topics
Today’s topics
  • The human element
  • Human metrics
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Typical management approaches
  • Self-mastery
  • Summary advice
  • References
the human element
The human element
  • Often neglected aspect of project management.
  • People are not “widgets.”
  • You manage things and lead people.
  • If the number of members of the project team is n, there are n(n-1)/2 interpersonal interactions, any of which can go sour.
the human element skills needed
The human element – skills needed
  • Team building
  • Negotiation techniques
  • Understanding of psychology/group dynamics
  • Motivational techniques
  • Communications skills (especially listening)
human metrics
Human metrics
  • Personality types
  • How to use human metrics
myers briggs
  • According to Jung's typology all people can be classified using three criteria.
    • Extroversion - Introversion
    • Sensing - Intuition
    • Thinking – Feeling
  • Isabel Briggs-Myers added fourth criterion:
    •    Judging - Perceiving
e xtrovert or i ntrovert
Extrovert or Introvert
  • Where, primarily, do you prefer to direct your energy?
    • If you prefer to direct your energy to deal with people, things, situations, or "the outer world", then your preference is for Extraversion. This is denoted by the letter "E".
    • If you prefer to direct your energy to deal with ideas, information, explanations or beliefs, or "the inner world", then your preference is for Introversion. This is denoted by the letter "I".
s ensing or i n tuitive
Sensing or iNtuitive
  • How do you prefer to process information?
    • If you prefer to deal with facts, what you know, to have clarity, or to describe what you see, then your preference is for Sensing. This is denoted by the letter "S".
    • If you prefer to deal with ideas, look into the unknown, to generate new possibilities or to anticipate what isn't obvious, then your preference is for Intuition. This is denoted by the letter "N" (the letter I has already been used for Introversion).
t hinking or f eeling
Thinking or Feeling
  • How do you prefer to make decisions?
    • If you prefer to decide on the basis of objective logic, using an analytic and detached approach, then your preference is for Thinking. This is denoted by the letter "T".
    • If you prefer to decide using values and/or personal beliefs, on the basis of what you believe is important or what you or others care about, then your preference is for Feeling. This is denoted by the letter "F".
j udging or p erceiving
Judging or Perceiving
  • How do you prefer to organize your life?
    • If you prefer your life to be planned, stable and organized then your preference is for Judging (not to be confused with 'Judgmental', which is quite different). This is denoted by the letter "J".
    • If you prefer to go with the flow, to maintain flexibility and respond to things as they arise, then your preference is for Perception. This is denoted by the letter "P".
myers briggs1
  • This yields 16 personality types
  • Compatibility between them
  • Some companies hires based on this.
keirsey temperament sorter
Guardians (44%)

Supervisor (ESTJ)

Inspector (ISTJ)

Provider (ESFJ)

Protector (ISFJ)

Artisans (12%)

Promoter (ESTP)

Crafter (ISTP)

Performer (ESFP)

Composer (ISFP)

Idealists (30%)

Teacher (ENFJ)

Counselor (INFJ)

Champion (ENFP)

Healer (INFP)

Rationals (14%)

Fieldmarshal (ENTJ)

Mastermind  (INTJ)

Inventor (ENTP)

Architect (INTP)

Keirsey temperament sorter
how to use human metrics
How to use human metrics
  • Understanding people
  • Organizing teams
  • Hiring and corporate cultural alignment
  • Understanding yourself
dealing with difficult people
Dealing with difficult people
  • Hostile aggressives
    • Sherman tanks
    • Snipers
    • Exploders
  • Indecisives
  • Whiners
  • Negativists
  • Clams
  • Bulldozers
  • Superagreeables

Source: Robert Bramson, Coping with Difficult People, Dell Paper Backs 1988.

hostile aggressives
Hostile aggressives
  • Sherman tanks
    • These are bullies : stand up to them
  • Snipers
    • They like to hurl sarcasm from the bushes : call them out
  • Exploders
    • They explode when they don’t get their way : engage them in problem solving
  • They can’t make up their mind and won’t make a decision.
  • Find out the real thing that is bothering them and prevent them from making the decision.
  • They will complain about everything
  • Don’t apologize to them.
  • Actively listen to them and acknowledge their complaints, without agreeing with them.
  • Try to engage them in problem solving by asking them to put their complaints in writing with specific details.
  • These are wet blanket individuals.
  • They complain, usually, because they perceive that they have no power.
  • Stay positive and realistic with them.
  • These personalities tend to provide no reaction at all to situations even direct questions to them.
  • They are very hard to deal with.
  • The solution is try to elicit a response from them by asking a specific question like “what is your response to my statement?” or “what do you think about the situation?”
  • Then go into a silent, friendly stare of your own, allowing the dead time to encourage the clam to respond.
  • If they still don’t respond, provide a response that indicates you are unhappy with direct consequences.
  • Expert know-it-alls
  • Take their analysis to the extreme and show them that their fears are unfounded.
  • In essence have them extend their ideas.
  • Often they will discover that their fears are ridiculous or they will find another solution to the problem.
  • They dismiss people with patronizing agreeability, but at the end of the day, they are just as unhelpful as an indecisive.
  • Like the indecisive, hold them accountable
  • Give them deadlines.
  • Get them to tell you what is really on their mind and preventing them from making the decision… “I know you like the idea, but was is missing…”
fatal attractions
Fatal Attractions
  • What are they?
  • Five common types of “fatal attractions”
  • Seven stages of fatal attractions
  • “Unhooking” from fatal attractions

“Working with You is Killing Me,” Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster, Harper Collins, 2006.

what are fatal attractions
What are Fatal Attractions?
  • Involve persons who initially fulfill some need, then turn destructive
  • Happen because they are initially exhilarating
  • Can consume endless time, physical, and emotional energy
  • Require advanced “unhooking”
five common fatal attractions
Five Common “Fatal Attractions”
  • Exploder – starts out as dynamic, subject to fits of rage
  • Empty pit – appears to be worthy person in need of help – really wants attention, not help
  • Saboteur – flatters you to infiltrate your network or destroy you
  • Pedestal smasher – builds you up, then expects miracles from you
  • Chip on the shoulder – people who are constantly being wronged by others
seven stages
Seven Stages*
  • Magnetism/honeymoon
  • Consumption – time and thinking
  • Rehearsal and recovery (pre- and post-meeting obsession)
  • Conversion obsession
  • Post interaction heartburn (battle fatigue)
  • Allergic reaction (autonomic physical response to other person)
  • Imprisonment (you look like a POW)

*May occur in any order, some or all , and may cycle through one or more times.

  • Detect – identify the problem and problem type
  • Detach – separate emotionally
  • Depersonalize – you are not the first person to deal with this fatal attraction
  • Deal – strategy for dealing with the situation – the other person is not going to change
dealing with difficult people general advice
Dealing with difficult people : general advice
  • Don’t form an opinion too soon
  • Listen to all sides of the story
  • Focus on issues not people
  • Set or clarify expectations
  • Assume the best in people - even the best people fail in bad systems
some management approaches
Some management approaches
  • Theory X
  • Theory Y
  • Theory W
  • Theory Z
  • Management by sight
theory x
Theory X
  • Authoritative management
  • The average human has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it
  • Most people must be coerced, controlled, directed and threatened
  • Most people prefer to be directed
theory y
Theory Y
  • Work is as natural as play
  • External control and threats are not the only means for achieving organizational goals
  • Commitment is a function of requirements
  • Most humans seek responsibility
theory w
Theory W
  • Developed by Boehm and Ross
  • Establish a set of win-win preconditions
  • Structure a win-win software process
  • Structure a win-win software product
establish a set of win win preconditions
Establish a set of win-win preconditions
  • Understand how people want to win
  • Establish reasonable expectations
  • Match people’s tasks to their win conditions
  • Provide a supportive environment
structure a win win software process
Structure a win-win software process
  • Establish a realistic process plan
  • Use the plan to control the project
  • Identify and manage your win-lose or lose-lose risks
  • Keep people involved
structure a win win software product
Structure a win-win software product
  • Match product to users’ and maintainers’ win conditions
win win negotiating
Win-win negotiating
  • Understand people’s expectations
  • Set the ground rules up front
  • Look for early successes
  • Be sure to give a little
  • Conclude negotiating only when all parties are satisfied
theory z
Theory Z
  • Developed by Ouchi based on Japanese Philosophy of lifetime employment
  • Slow evaluation and promotion
  • Non-specific career paths
  • Implicit control mechanisms
  • Collective decision-making and responsibility
  • Career paths that emphasize cross-training
management by sight
Management by sight
  • People-oriented approach
  • Also called management by walking around
  • Means just what it says
managing agile teams
Managing agile teams
  • Agile Manifesto
  • Some agile (lightweight) methodologies
  • Extreme Programming
  • Managing agile teams
agile manifesto

Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Arie van Bennekum, Alistair Cockburn, Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, James GrenningJim Highsmith, Andrew Hunt, Ron Jeffries, Jon Kern, Brian Marick, Robert C. Martin, Steve Mellor, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, Dave Thomas

Agile Manifesto
  • We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan
  • That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
principles behind the gile manifesto
Principles Behind the gile Manifesto
  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

Ref: http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html

principles behind the agile manifesto
Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Ref: http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html

agile methodologies
Agile methodologies
  • Adaptive programming-- offers a series of frameworks to apply adaptive principles and encourage collaboration.
  • Agile Programming--isdivided into four activities: planning, designing, coding, and testing, all performed iteratively.
  • Crystal -- empowers the development team to define the development process and refine it in subsequent iterations until it is stable.
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) -- conceived as a methodology for rapid application development. Relies on a set of principles that include empowered teams, frequent deliverables, incremental development and integrated testing.
agile methodologies1
Agile methodologies
  • Extreme Programming (XP) -- is based on twelve practices (discussed later). Perhaps, the most prescriptive of the agile methodologies.
  • Feature-Driven Development -- a model-driven, short-iteration methodology built around the feature, a unit of work that has meaning for the client and developer and is small enough to be completed quickly.
  • Scrum -- based on the empirical process control model, the name is a reference to the point in a rugby match where the opposing teams line up in a tight and contentious formation. Relies on self-directed teams and dispenses with much advanced planning, task definition and management reporting.
extreme programming
Extreme Programming

Ref: http://www.extremeprogramming.org/rules.html

managing agile teams1
Managing agile teams
  • The agile manifesto has built-in advice for managers.
  • On the surface, managing agile teams is fun.
  • But agile methods require much more autonomy than many managers are willing to give.
  • Not everyone fits the agile methodology.
  • Agile methodologies don’t work in every environment or with every project.
self mastery

The seven habits of highly effective people (Covey)

  • Be proactive
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first
  • Think win-win
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the saw
  • Remember the only person that you can effectively change is yourself.
  • People will respond positively to you if you are forthright, reliable, consistent, and hard-working.
  • Maintain a healthy life balance to reduce your stress level.
principle centered leadership
Principle Centered Leadership
  • Developed by Stephen Covey
  • Similar to theory W
  • Based on “inside-out” leadership
principle centered leadership1
Principle Centered Leadership
  • Principles are more important than values.
  • “You reap what you sow.”
  • Manage things and lead people.
  • Manage people and projects with the approach of farming and not cramming for exams.
  • There are no quick fixes.
the law of the harvest
The Law of the Harvest
  • You reap what you sow.
  • There are no quick fixes.
    • You can ‘cram’ for an exam and succeed, but
    • You CAN’T forget to plant in spring and hope to harvest in the fall.
    • Life is governed by natural laws that cannot be short-circuited.
leadership from the inside out









Leadership from the inside out

An atmosphere of trust creates the basis for a managerial style of empowering others to unleash their potential

We must be trustworthy before we can achieve trust

The 3 levels of personal, interpersonal and managerial relationships form the necessary conditions for harmonizing the organization’s shared mission and values with its strategy, structures and systems.

principles into practice
Principles into Practice
  • Three Factors determine a leader’s effectiveness:
    • Pathfinding – creating an exciting vision
    • Empowerment – teaching people to become relatively independent and part of interdependent, self-managing teams
    • Team building – involving people in activities that improve the team’s productivity and cooperation.
  • A worthy end cannot come from unworthy means
  • Five questions to ask in creating an inspiring mission statement:
    • Does it have both means and ends?
    • Does it deal with all stakeholders?
    • Does it deal with all 4 needs: economic, social, psychological, and spiritual?
    • Does the mission statement come from the core of the organization?
    • Is it used as a constitution?
  • Empowerment cannot come without first establishing trust. From trust we can establish win-win performance agreements.
    • Desired Results – specify desired results, don’t supervise methods and means
    • Guidelines – go heavy on guidelines, light on procedures
    • Accountability – involve people in setting standards of acceptable and exceptional performance
    • Consequences – reach an understanding of the positive and negative consequences
team building
Team Building

Desired level of


  • Force-field analysis theory explains that the current level of effectiveness is the equilibrium between the restraining forces and the driving forces. To improve to the desired level must we increase the driving force, or decrease the restraining forces
  • Focusing on team-building is analogous to decreasing the restraining forces and we should spend two-thirds of our energy on it.


Current level of



summary advice
Summary advice
  • Factors affecting organizational change in software process improvement efforts
    • Change agents and opinion leaders
    • Encouraging communication and collaboration
    • Management commitment and support
    • Managing the improvement process
    • Providing enhanced understanding
    • Setting relevant and realistic objectives
    • Stabilizing changed processes
    • Staff involvement
    • Tailoring improvement initiatives
    • Unfreezing the organization

Stelzer and Mellis, 1998 - based on analysis of experience reports from 56 companies.

summary advice1
Summary advice

Boehm’s five staffing principles

  • The principle of top talent: use better and fewer people (I know many companies that do this).
  • The principle of job matching: fit the tasks to the skills and motivation of the people available (remember this when we talk about outsourcing/offshoring).
  • The principle of career progression: an organization does best in the long run by helping its people to self-actualize (all hail Maslow).
  • The principle of team balance: select people who will complement and harmonize with one another.
  • The principle of phaseout: keeping a misfit on a team doesn’t benefit anyone.
  • Barry Boehm, Software Engineering Economics, Prentice-Hall, 1981.
  • Robert Bramson, Coping With Difficult People, Dell Paperbacks, 1988.
  • Cynthia Cohen, Stanley Birkin, Monica Garfield, and Harold Webb, “Managing Conflict in Software Testing,” Communications of the ACM, vol. 47, no. 1, January 2004, pp. 76-81.
  • Stephen R. Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership, Simon & Schuster, 1991.
  • Dirk Stelzer and Werner Mellis, “Success Factors of Organizational Change in Software Process Improvement”, Software Process – Improvement and Practice, vol 4, 1980, pp. 227-250.